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Health & Fitness / Health Care Issues
Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease
Why wouldn't you want to be screened to see if you're at risk for cancer, heart disease, or another potentially lethal condition? After all, better safe than sorry. Right?
Not so fast, says Alan Cassels. His Seeking Sickness takes us inside the world of medical screening, where well-meaning practitioners and a profit-motivated industry offer to save our lives by exploiting our fears. He writes that promoters of screening overpromise on its benefits and downplay its harms, which can range from the merely annoying to the life threatening. If you're facing a screening test for breast or prostate cancer, high cholesterol, or low testosterone, someone is about to turn you into a patient. You need to ask yourself one simple question: Am I ready for all the things that could go wrong?
“With authority and humour, this book reveals how the ‘test early, test often’ approach can be very bad medicine. It’s a welcome antidote to the unhealthy marketing of fear.”
"Seeking Sickness provides an antidote for the endless hype about the value of everything from cancer to cholesterol screening. Smartly written and very readable, Cassels invites us to question not just the value of the test, but the motives of the people who recommend it. Read the book and see if you still feel as worried about getting sick."
"With engaging, lucid prose, Alan Cassels strips layers of expectation, hype, jargon, false-starts and conflicts of interest off the medical screening mantra. A clear understanding of the demanding nature of medical screening emerges that can inform both the health of a person and the health of the public."
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